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Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Lavalier Microphones

Having a good microphone can make or break the audio and video of various applications. Not many people think of it much but a great microphone can make the difference between a professional, polished production and content that seems amateur at best.  

Most people are familiar with the microphone used on stage or in the studio. While those microphones are incredible, they’re often big or bulky, and sometimes, they just aren’t the best thing to use in particular applications. 

Instead of a boom mic or other more extensive mic types, some opt to use a lavalier microphone, otherwise known as a lapel mic. Known for their small and discreet footprint, lavalier microphones are clipped onto the subject — often onto the lapels of jackets, hence its name — and record sound directly into a wireless transmitter or an audio recording device. 

The best lavalier microphones are often used in interviews, presentations, broadcasts, live productions, and more. They are mostly used as a body mic, clip mics, recording devices, and more. The best Lavalier microphones also make a great option for podcasting or creating YouTube videos. They prefer this as lavalier microphones are easy to maneuver, good at handling noise, and discreet. Lavalier microphones are also chosen as these high-quality mics provide great sound and audio for audio production.

Today, we’ve compiled a list of the best lavalier microphones in the market. From high-end to beginner-friendly lapel mics, you’ll be able to find the best option for you. Check them out! 

What is The Best Lavalier Microphone?

Editor's Choice

Rode SmartLav+
Best Overall
Shure MVL
Best Premium
The Best Dynamic Mic
Best Studio Lavalier Mic
Rode SmartLav+

Considered one of the best lavalier microphones, Rode SmartLav is a top choice among professionals, content creators, interviewers, and more.

Shure MVL

For interviews and lectures, this microphone has a high signal-to-noise ratio, extreme durability, and very versatile.

Sony ECM77b

Sony ECM77b is the top choice among professionals in a studio and in a radio station as it's lightweight and has a wide frequency.

Sound Quality: Design: Features:
Sound Quality: Design: Features:
Sound Quality: Design: Features:

Let’s Go Over Each Microphone

Sound Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

If you’re a content creator who wants to record professional-quality sound on the go, look no further as the Rode SmartLav+ is one of the best lavalier microphones. This light and compact lavalier microphone make recording easier with its unparalleled convenience. 

Unlike other mics, the SmartLav+ lavalier mic doesn’t require any complicated setup. It’s essentially a plug-and-play lapel mic that’s equipped with a jack that fits most phones, allowing you to record audio anytime, anywhere that you need to. 

The SmartLav+ has a rugged build and a cable length of 1.2m, reinforced with Kevlar, allowing you to take it in and out of your bag as much as you want to without worrying about it breaking down. This lav mic has an omnidirectional pickup pattern, keeping the subject’s pickup volume at maximum no matter the orientation when attached to the speaker. 

With its frequency response rate of 20Hz to 20kHz, it provides a sound that has rich, warm lows and crisp highs. It also has a built-in windscreen to reduce wind noise and plosives. Moreover, the SmartLav+ is also compatible with the Rode SC6-L kit that includes a lightning adapter in the box. 

The SmartLav+ also pairs well with the Rode Rec app, giving users access to a range of predetermined EQ settings as well as numerous easy-to-navigate editing functions. Whether you’re a beginner in content creation or an established professional looking for a great microphone, the Rode SmartLav+ will be a fantastic choice.

Pros and Cons of the Rode SmartLav+

✔ Compatible with both iOS and Android devices
✔ Broadcast-quality sound
✔ Offers rich, crisp natural sound
✖️ Cable may require extension

Sound Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

One of the best lavalier microphones to use in interviews, lectures, and films is the Shure MVL. This premium-quality mic brings out the character in a person’s voice, resulting in a full, distinct, and clear result. 

Its high signal-to-noise ratio, pop filter,  and built-in interference protection provide audio that is free of any unwanted noise. Additionally, the MVL also comes with a foam windscreen to block out wind noise. No matter how loud your audio may be, the sound pressure level of this mic will ensure that there will be no distortion. 

This is considered one of the best lavalier mics as it’s built with the legendary durability of Shure microphones, the MVL can certainly hold up to years of frequent use both indoors and on the go. Its omnidirectional pattern won’t miss out on any details, capable of doing an amazing job of isolating your voice from your surroundings. 

The MVL has a cord that’s 52 inches long and requires no batteries to use, making it a great option for any user who wants outstanding sound quality without needing to use any complicated equipment, although it’s not available in USB c ports. Shure has included a windscreen, clip, and carrying pouch in the MVL’s package.

Pros and Cons of the Shure MVL

✔ Has a low-profile design
✔ High signal-to-noise ratio
✔ Connects to smartphones via the headphone jack
✖️ Cord is quite thin

Sound Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

A legendary mic that’s great to use in the studio is the Sony ECM77B. Commonly used in both television and radio productions, the ECM 77B is one of the smallest lavalier mics in the world with the diameter of its capsule measuring 5.6mm. The Sony ECM 77b’s low profile makes it a very lightweight microphone that can be easily attached to any speaker even if they are moving. 

It has a frequency range of 40Hz to 20kHz and a sensitivity of -52.0 dD. Due to its wide frequency and high sensitivity, the ECM77B can capture good acoustic recordings. It offers full and natural sound quality without any background noise. 

Moreover, the ECM77B can be powered in two ways, either via an AA battery or phantom power. Aside from the studio, the Sony ECM 77B can also be used to record outdoors, thanks to the windscreen packaged along with it. 

Pros and Cons of the Sony ECM 77B

✔ Can be powered via phantom power or battery power (AA)
✔ Small and compact capsule
✔ Excellent frequency response range
✖️ Pricey

Sound Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Made by one of the leading brands in the industry, you can be sure that the MKE 40 can provide you with audio that has an incredible quality. Its great frequency response allows it to stand out as a great mic for vocals. 

Utilizing a cardioid pickup pattern, the MKE 40 keeps unwanted sound at bay. The MKE 40’s crisp and clear audio, plus its accurate bass reproduction, is praised by professional productions all over the globe. 

Ideal to use in a range of applications, this mic can record audio with a high gain before reaching feedback levels. This makes it a great option for those in loud environments or live performances. 

It employs a three-pin connector but it also includes a 3.5mm jack, allowing you to attach it to wireless transmitters or directly to a mobile recorder. Moreover, the MKE 40 is compatible with several Sennheiser wireless transmitters, making it a flexible choice for any creator.

Pros and Cons of the Sennheiser MKE 40

✔ Excellent microphone for vocals
✔ Interchangeable connection
✔ Compatible with other Sennheiser transmitters
✖️ Expensive

Sound Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Considered one of the most versatile wireless lavalier microphones, the EW 112P G4 is a wireless system that’s designed for DSLR use. Composed of the ME2-II omnidirectional mic, a wireless lavalier transmitter, and a receiver, Sennheiser provides flexibility for filmmakers or content creators without the complexity of cables. The wireless systems provide ease of movement between usages. It’s wireless kits and wireless system is ideal for users who are constantly moving. 

Featuring an all-metal chassis wireless lavalier mics and its transmitter are both lightweight, compact, and easy to conceal, offering comfortability to the subject wearing it. The receiver is equally compact and easily mounts on any DSLR camera or camcorder without adding much weight. These wireless mics are easy to carry and connect to other equipment.

Sennheiser has included an XLR connector and a 3.5mm jack to connect the receiver to your camera without any hitch. Both the transmitter and receiver feature daylight-readable LED displays that show the reception quality, battery status, and audio level. 

The wireless mic performs well with its XLR connector and 50Hz to 18kHz frequency range and is capable of handling sudden volume boosts. The 112P G4 is compatible with Sennheiser’s EW 500 wireless systems as well.

Pros and Cons of the Sennheiser EW112P G4

✔ Excellent microphone for vocals
✔ Interchangeable connection
✔ Compatible with other Sennheiser transmitters
✖️ Requires a lot of batteries

Do Lavalier Mics Sound Good?

When used correctly, lavalier microphones sound good and warrant their use. Most people use them for podcasts, stage performances, presentations, broadcasts, and videos. In all those cases and more, lav mics are placed close to the breastbone or clipped to the lapel of clothes as this allows the mics to pick up the naturally resonating frequencies of the human voice. 

What is the Biggest Disadvantage of Lavalier Mics?

While lav mics sound good, they also come with some challenges as well. The small profile of a lav mic is great, however, there are times that interviewees forget they are wearing the mic and forget that they’re being recorded. Individuals who speak animatedly can risk bumping the microphone, resulting in distortion in the audio. 

There is also the risk of rubbing the lav mic against clothing. Additionally, there’s the slight trouble of not knowing where to clip the microphone if the person is wearing clothes without a lapel, collar, or buttonhole. There are also times when interviewees are wearing clothing made with delicate fabrics. Lav mics tend to have clips with tiny teeth that can damage delicate fabrics. 

Just like any other product in the market, lav mics have pros and cons. Despite their few disadvantages, lavalier mics are great to use and can achieve incredible broadcast-quality audio when used properly. 

What Makes a Good Lav Mic?

A good lavalier mic can be judged by its reach and polar pattern. Lav mics can be divided into two groups, namely transparent and proximity. 

Transparent vs. Proximity

Transparent lavaliers provide a natural sound that can be described as transparently eavesdropping on the speaker. Transparent lav microphones also display a gradual taper over a few feet of distance and have a slight increase in room noise. Filmmakers often use them as they can cleanly pick up sound from several feet away. 

On the other hand, proximity lavaliers have less of a reach than transparent ones and therefore are necessary to be placed no more than several inches from the speaker’s mouth. Proximity lavaliers enhance and emphasize the voice close-up, providing a rich, announcer feel to the sound. Additionally, they are capable of isolating the speaker’s voice from the background. These are mainly used by radio and television broadcasters, news anchors, interviews, lectures, studios, and the like. 

Omnidirectional vs. Unidirectional

As for pickup patterns, lavaliers can either have an omnidirectional polar pattern or unidirectional (cardioid.) A microphone with a cardioid polar pattern has a definite front and back and always needs to be pointed directly toward the speaker’s mouth. Cardioid lavaliers are ideally used in lectures and presentations as they can reduce audience noise and limit feedback. These can also be used in broadcast studios and radio. 

Omni directional lapel mic picks up sounds regardless of their direction and doesn’t need to be lined up towards the speaker’s mouth. This allows omnidirectional lapel mics to be mounted on a lot of things: loose clothing, shoulder straps, hats, hair, eyeglass frames, and the like. 

The only thing that you need to take note of when using omnidirectional lapel microphones is the distance. Lapel microphones should be used at least 15cm from the source of sound as these lapel microphones are critical in placement when you’re looking for a great sound. 

Most film and video applications make use of an omnidirectional lavalier. Omnidirectional condenser mics are also used thanks to their frequency ranges or frequency response ranges. Keep in mind these basic characteristics will be able to help you in choosing a great lav mic for any situation you might need it for.

Are Cheap Lavalier Mics Any Good?

Most people think that lavalier microphone are on the expensive side, but there are also lav mics that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Despite their price tag, a cheaper lavalier microphone is also capable of producing good audio quality. 

Some of the lavalier microphones may not be on par with high-end microphones but they are good enough, especially for beginners who are just starting out with creating content. 


We hope that you’ve found this guide on the best lavalier microphones useful and informative. Do remember that a lot of times, the best lavalier mic isn’t necessarily the most expensive one. There are numerous options in the market that cover a wide range of applications and budgets. Consider the options to find the best lavalier microphone for you.

Editor’s Choice

Rode SmartLav+

One of the best lavalier microphones right now is the Rode SmartLav+. This microphone is the ultimate choice for most professionals as it records great audio without bulky equipment. Lavalier microphones are the best solution when you need to record content on the go, and the SmartLav+ makes creating content effortless and convenient. 

Specifically designed to work with mobile devices, the SmartLav+ is essentially plug-and-play, making it an excellent solution for capturing quality audio without needing a complicated setup. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, the SmartLav+ is an excellent choice if you want crisp and clear audio quality in any production that you work on.

Naomi Feller

Originally from the East Coast, Naomi started singing as young as 3 years old. In her early teens Naomi made some embarrassing YouTube videos before settling on a love for Podcast editing. When she's not pouring over endless amounts of audio, she lends her expertise to us here at Shout4Music with her crystal clear and finely tuned microphone reviews.

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